Does evidence make a difference in surgical practice?

The Boston Globe reports on the response to recently published evidence that challenged the effectiveness of the back surgery called vertebroplasty. Will this evidence make any difference? The Globe article suggests, "No."

"...the findings are unlikely to change the practice of many specialists, who said they don't jibe with their years of experience."

But the Globe also touches on a theme that is rarely addressed in news stories:

The studies' tsunami-like aftershocks - insurers are now reconsidering whether they will continue to pay for the treatment - also underscore a little-known fact outside the medical community: Surgeries often become widespread before they've undergone rigorous evaluation. While prescription drugs and medical devices must be reviewed by federal regulators before they're released to the public, surgical procedures do not.

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on August 24, 2009 12:07 PM.

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